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Contract workers not the solution to ham fisted wage negotiations

The Hodgman Liberal Government’s decision to move contract workers into schools is a direct result of its dysfunctional approach to unnecessarily drawn-out wage negotiations.

Shadow Education Minister Josh Willie said there was no need for the situation to have reached today’s point where contract cleaners were shifted into schools, which had the potential to cause unwarranted disruption to students.

“Wage negotiations have now been needlessly dragging on for more than a year because the Hodgman Government never had any intention of getting around the table and negotiating in good faith,” Mr Willie said.

“Instead of supporting Tasmania’s education system and paying all employees including cleaners fairly, the government has been determined to create division and havoc and today the Treasurer has sought to worsen the situation with contract workers. 

“What Treasurer Gutwein should be doing instead of provocatively exacerbating the situation is getting on with the job of negotiating a fair wages deal.

“Additionally, it is disruptive to students for workers they are unfamiliar with to suddenly be on school grounds.

“School cleaners deserve a fair deal, not to be further penalised by the government.

“The Education Faculty Attendants I worked with in my past career as a teacher were always willing to listen to a student or educator, offer a word of encouragement and go above and beyond to make sure learning programs were successful inside and outside the classroom.

“Mr Gutwein should be ashamed of the way he has treated school support staff, teachers, students and parents.”

Josh Willie MLC
Shadow Education Minister